Dear Fellow Junkies…
On Thursday, Miss America announced it would go back to a 2 panel judging system for Miss America 2014… which is why we felt inspired to dedicate an entire blogpost to this topic (which seems to have a few of you quite twitterpated!)
First – please don’t ‘freak out’ about 2 sets of judges for Miss America… Depending on your point of view, there are several pros and cons about this kind of system… For the sake of clarification, we’re going to call the Prelim Judges “Expert Judges” (EJ) and the Final Night Judges “Celebrity Judges” (CJ). With this in mind, here’s just a few random thoughts for your consideration… off the top of our heads… in no particular order…
~ EJ’s should know what they’re doing from the get-go. For example, some of the first contestants in interview complain that celebrity judges often don’t know what they’re doing in the beginning and it takes a while to ‘warm up’. No ‘warming up’ necessary now.
~ EJ’s should score girls according to their ability in each phase of competition, rather than throwing points to girls in swimsuit or talent because they really liked her in interview If this happens, we should get an extremely ‘well-rounded’ winner this year.
~ At the end of the Prelims, Miss America will likely show the new judges the Top 15 contestants in interview (maybe in SS, Talent, Gown and OSQ as well). That means it’s a whole new ballgame for anyone who makes the Top 15. The CJ’s don’t care what ‘number’ she was in the prelim competition, or if she was right next to another strong girl, or if she came from a ‘weak group’… As long as she makes the Top 15, placement doesn’t matter because the CJ’s will see her individually on her own merit when they watch the videos.
~ Trust me… if a contestant can make an impression on 7 judges, she can make the same impression on 7 more judges via video. Just remember – there’s a reason why pageant girls watch winning interviews… because great contestants connect with people in the room – which translates to all the rest of us watching at home on TV (or online).
~ Even though the CJ’s will likely view the contestants interviews via video, they won’t get to interact with them in person – and they won’t get to ask a question they might’ve wanted the contestant to answer, had they been judging the interview while it was taking place.
~ If a girl was ‘on’ all week long, but buckles under the pressure of Saturday night – she won’t go very far. The CJ’s will absolutely be able to tell who’s shining and who’s not – and they won’t have any pre-conveived notions of her winning the title because they ‘fell in love’ with her earlier in the week.
~ Girls who can ‘fake it’ with entertainment might not fare as well as ladies who have ‘true talent’ with the EJ panel. EJ’s can tell the difference between someone who’s been properly trained in her talent and pure showmanship. So – in order to get to the Top 15, the performance will likely need to be technically sound… But a celebrity panel might give higher scores for ‘entertainment value’ on the final night (a catch 22).
~ In recent years, Miss America has gone above and beyond to connect with high profile celebrities who could judge the pageant and then serve as Ambassadors for the program. When you bring in 2 different panels, you don’t get the same level of commitment from either panel and thus, I’m not sure you’re going to see the same kind of desire to promote the Miss America “brand” once these judges go back to their respective careers. Inundating/sequestering judges from the beginning to the end of the process is a much better way to accomplish the goal of expanding the Miss America brand to the rest of the non-pageant world.
Second – please keep in mind, many of your favorite Miss America winners were chosen under a 2 panel system… Including some of the 80’s winners, all of the 90’s winners, and some of the 00’s winners.
And Finally, more than a two panel judging system, the Junkies think it’s a bigger deal to see WHO is on the prelim panel! If you haven’t read the press release announcing who’s judging you can find it here… At first glance, here’s our initial thoughts…
1. This Panel is “Southern”… Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina play into 3 of the judges backgrounds… Keep that in mind…
2. This Panel is “Accomplished”… Broadway Vocalists, Outstanding Pianists and those with Stage Presence will be noticed…
3. This Panel is “Classic Miss America”… If I were placing bets today – I would guess we’ll crown a beautiful girl with strong talent and a ‘sweet’ disposition. Yes, she’ll be able to stand on her own two feet, defend her opinions, and could make a name for herself beyond the crown – but overall, I would guess we’re going to get a classic, old-school, back-to-Atlantic-City queen who is fiercely talented and super easy on the eyes. 🙂
Just think… we still don’t know who the people are that will actually choose our next Miss America! But when we do – you can be sure the Junkies will keep you updated on all the nitty gritty details 🙂